Thursday, May 8, 2008

Play on the upbeat

I just got done managing my company through a rigorous four-day audit that was conducted in only three days. The highlight of the three days was being able to go to my piano lesson, even though it came at what was the end of the equivalent of a fourteen hour day, in which I hadn't slept for over 16 hours. It was not easy.

I played Don't Get Around Much Anymore and Blues for Alice, neither in a particularly good-sounding or facile manner. It was a struggle. My instructor threw me off my playing style by saying, "Play with a lighter touch" just before I start DGAM, which I play sort of heavy handed because I like to accentuate the no-chord areas and the oblique movements, so by the time he told me to go back to playing my normal style, there was just nothing left in the tank. We talked about syncopation and playing on the off beats, then playing on the upbeats, on BFA. I listened and watched, and thought I would be able to do it.

When I got home last night, there was nothing to do but keep playing piano, so I did. I couldn't hit the syncopation, and there was nothing doing with the offbeats, especially in the bars with triplets. I tried playing on the upbeats, and that seemed to work, but it didn't sound good.

Today, I had another twelve hour day, but the audit is over. Tonight I will watch the Cavs steal one from the Celtics, drink beer, and then I will try again to do something different with the tunes. Or maybe, I will take my upbeats to sleep and be done with it.

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